More than 100 Communist Party members in Shouguang , Shandong province, were removed from party organisations as local authorities stepped up a campaign to clean up grass-roots party units.
A report on Dzwww.com , the official news portal of Shandong, yesterday said 102 party members had not properly registered with the party, resulting in them being purged from their respective units.
The report comes less than two weeks after the province appointed Cai Limin as its new political and legal committee secretary, replacing Bo Jimin .
Shouguang authorities have stepped up efforts in recent years to improve the image of grass-root units that have been accused of abusing power and mistreating people.
Of the 102 removed, 34 were found to have been negligent in their duties and performed poorly in assessment reviews. The remaining 68 were found to have violated the one-child policy.
A further 120 had their party registrations temporarily suspended, but the report didn't give the reasons. They could be removed from their positions in a year if their assessment rating does not meet party standards.
Some of the purged party members were found to have frequently missed work and failed to attend important events held by their respective organisations, the report said.
One even missed a party member meeting in Yingzi village, resulting in the meeting being postponed.
'Some party members believed that their membership would not be revoked as long as they did not break the law,' the report quoted a village party secretary, Zhang Wei, as saying.
Another party member was removed from his position because he did not pay party fees on time and did not take his work seriously.
However, the report said that some of the party members had asked to be removed from their posts because they found themselves unable to do their jobs properly.
Separately, the provincial party congress held a meeting on May 28 in which Cai replaced Bo as the provincial political and legal committee secretary. The 57-year-old Cai made his first public appearance in his new position on June 4, visiting a soldier who helped rescue six people who were drowning in a reservoir, the official website of the Communist Party reported.
One analyst said Bo's removal may have been related to Shandong authorities' handling of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng , who went to New York last month after escaping from house arrest in Dongshigu village in Yinan county.
In an article in The New York Times last month, Chen said China lacks rule of law, and that the 'political-legal committee' of the party 'has eroded decades of progress in implementing the rule of law'.
Zhang Lifan , a current affairs commentator with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: 'It is expected that authorities will take action and remove some Shandong officials, as the province has turned the Chen saga into an international incident, embarrassing China. Central authorities are expected to deal with all related officials [in the incident] before the upcoming party congress this autumn.'